26 Feb, 2024 @ 14:50
1 min read

Dozens of youngsters damage a protected beach in Spain after ‘influencers’ buried €1,000 ‘treasure’ as part of an online game

THE iconic dunes of Maspalomas were left battered and bruised on Saturday after dozens ransacked the area in search for €1,000 cash left by online ‘influencers’.

Tens of youngsters converged on Gran Canaria’s famous nature reserve after a group of social media stars buried €1,000 in a suitcase as part of an audacious advertising stunt.

Known as Alvi_ent, the trio of local influencers were attempting to promote a new music event.

They told their followers on social media: “We have been given €1,000 to promote the event, but instead of wasting it on TV ads we are going to hide it somewhere on the island. The first person to find it, keeps it”.

The challenge consisted of three clues posted on Instagram, culminating in a reveal of the exact coordinates of the cash.

Videos circulating on social media show youngsters using shovels and rakes to churn up sand in search of the prize.

Critics have labelled the treasure hunt as an “environmental attack” given that the 1000-acre Maspalomas Dunes Nature Reserve is a protected area.

Gran Canaria’s environmental ministry have opened an investigation into whether a crime has taken place.

Rear View Of Romantic Mid Adult Couple Sitting On Dunes, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
How the iconic dunes normally look. Credit: Cordon Press

After being criticised on social media, all accounts under the Alvi_ent brand have been deactivated.

It’s not the first time that the sandy mounds have been misused – the Olive Press reported in 2021 that Maspalomas has become infamous for its ‘cruising’ scene where people hunt out strangers for illicit sex amongst the dunes.

Scientists at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) found a remarkable 298 ‘sex spots’ hidden away, 242 of which are within a restricted use zone.

Researchers discovered an unnervingly large quantity of rubbish in the bonking bases, including sanitary towels, used condoms and sex toys.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to ben@theolivepress.es

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